Most general practitioners are independent contractors, meaning the average GP salary in Australia will vary. Aside from the percentage of earnings set out in the contract terms, the level of qualifications and experience, location, and the type and number of consultations will also determine the final earning potential of a GP.
But how do GPs work in Australia? How do you become a certified GP? Most importantly, how much does a GP earn in Australia?
If you are interested in pursuing a career in general practice and need the answers to these questions, this article is for you. Read on to learn more about being an Australian GP.
How Much Is a GP Salary in Australia?
When it comes to financial security, having a career in general practice is promising. With several factors such as the number of working hours, billings percentage, number of consultations, and consultation types, how much does an Australian GP earn annually?
Most Australian full-time GPs make between $250,000 and $350,000 per year. This earning capacity will increase as they establish a loyal patient base, and some will earn as much as $500,000.
A typical day rate is $1,200 up to $1,600, depending on the number of patients you will see and the procedural work you do.
With no restrictions, GPs with RACGP (Royal Australian College of General Practitioners)-recognised fellowship can earn around $150 per hour.
Meanwhile, GPs with restrictions (e.g., you’re an international medical graduate required to work in areas of need), you can still expect to earn as much as $150 per hour or 70% of billings, depending on your work location.
How GPs Work in Australia
Australia consistently ranks as one of the world’s most desirable places to live in. From red deserts and green jungles to golden beaches and vibrant cities, it’s not just a tourist’s favourite. It’s also a thriving location that offers human development, healthcare, civic rights, and income opportunities for local and immigrant general practitioners.
Most general practice clinicians are defined by the characteristics of their discipline (person-centredness, comprehensiveness, diagnostic and therapeutic skill, continuing quality improvement, professional, clinical, and ethical standards, etc.).
General practitioners are specialist, community-based doctors focused on caring for people of all ages, sexuality, and with all types of medical issues and concerns. They coordinate the care of patients, refer patients to other specialists if necessary, and can look after their patients throughout their whole life.
An Australian GP essentially means being a “business owner.” This is because they are typically “self-employed,” meaning they take home a percentage of the income they generate (either by billing the patient, an insurance company, or Medicare).
Australian GPs are also responsible for paying their taxes to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and selecting their preferred method of saving for retirement through superannuation.
How to Become a GP in Australia
If you have excellent communication skills, empathy, and a relentless drive to continue learning throughout your medical career, then a job in GP could be suitable for you.
Careers in general practice also offer an array of personal and professional development benefits—from enrichment and rewards to diverse experiences (e.g., practising medicine and collegiality).
Becoming a licensed GP in Australia can be a lengthy process and involves many years of formal training, from earning an accredited university-level qualification to completing an internship and further specialist training.
If you’re planning to pursue your goal of becoming a certified general practice clinician in Australia, here’s a short list of the necessary steps you should take:
- Complete a relevant degree, preferably Bachelor of Medical Studies/Doctor of Medicine. Alternatively, you can enrol in an Ahpra-approved medical program followed by an approved postgraduate qualification.
- Complete a 1-year accredited intern training to be eligible for general registration.
- Before taking 1-2 years of residency training, you should become a general member of the Medical Board of Australia.
- Obtain a GP fellowship by completing the Australian General Practice Training (AGPT) program (3 years of general practice training, which includes an exam).
Aiming to Increase Your Current Earnings? Here Are Additional Tips
While the number of hours you work and procedures you do is obvious ways to boost your GP earning, here are other ways you can increase it:
- Consider an advanced life support course. This requires you to complete it in 2 to 3 days, and parts of it are online. With this extra qualification, you can earn $1800–$2000 daily.
- Work in a rural location. GPs in urban areas like Melbourne and Sydney are typically paid less than the average general practitioner salary (e.g., 65% of billings or $135 per hour) because of high competition for the roles.
- Try locum GP. This is suitable for you if you prefer working on flexible dates and locations and are interested in trying new challenges in a clinical setting.
Locum Life Is Here to Guide You
Looking for a general practice career that matches your qualifications and lifestyle inspirations? Start your medical job journey with Locum Life.
With a mission grounded in helping locum doctors live a better medical life, we intimately know the employment requirements of general practices. Our skills and client-focused services can help you land a medical career with an attractive GP salary in Australia.
Start browsing our most current list of locum GP job opportunities at https://locumlife.com.au/jobs/ . Register now to get real-time updates on your applied positions!